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Mar 16, 2010Henriot Brut Vintage, 1995
This wine may be approaching late maturity. Rich and toasty with a moderate mousse, notes of roasted nuts and brioche intermixed with steely cirtus. Full bodied and intense and persistent the flavors continue to keep pumping and are slow to fade.
Mar 16, 2010Charles Audoin Marsannay Blanc, 2001
95% Chardonnay/5% Pinot Blanc. Bright golden with a delectable assortment of melon, figs, and peaches (I know you're in there Pinot Blanc!). Fat and lush fruit gives way to floral and then fine minerality. This wine finishes long and tasty.
Mar 16, 2010chambol minot musigni perrot viell vign, 2001
Another surprisingly dark and Modern Burgogne Rouge from the village of Chambolle Musigny, this one from old vines, shows dark black-ruby color with deeply fruited and spiced flavors. It is complex and seamless with a pronounced earthiness under all the fruit and the famous Chambolle spice which has made this village so famous. I could go on and on about its chocolatey-cassis-dipped goodness, but considering the rarity of the bottling I'll save that for my next opportunity to sip it. Delicious!
Mar 16, 2010Maison Leroy Bourgogne Rouge, 1998
Only one bottling was assembled of all the samples recieved at the domaine, and those were sorted and blended by taste. The resulting wine is medium garnet in hue with a delicate subdued nose of spice, rosepetals, earth, and sweet herbs. The wine is silky and expansive with great juiciness and undeniable ellegance. There is a lot more than appears to this wine at first taste as it's balance is precise and it continues to build on the palate with each sip. The virtue of this style may seem ellusive to the novice, but it is remarkable to the initiated and a very fine ambassador of the region for those seeking the lauded work of Madame Lalou Bize-Leroy.
Mar 16, 2010Jean Louis Chave Crozes Hermitage, 2001
A beautiful Crozes for it's rustic muscle and purity. Intensely deep and saturated in color with blackfruits and wild game vying for attention with brambles and spicy earth. On the palate the wine is somewhat unexpectedly soft and supple, with a remarkably velvety structure and finishes with long silky threads of tannin. A workhorse in the cellarthis wine is good for at least 15 years.
One of the better Cabernets to come of Napa Valley in this vintage, not surprisingly from two of the Valley's best sites, Morisolli and Leonardini vineyards. The color is deep, and the nose is a knockout with amazing black cherry and juicy plum fruit, held deep under a core of still tight tannin. This is a wine for the ages and will improve for 15-20 years.
A unique Rosso del Salento blend of Negro Amaro and Malvasia Nera. medium ruby in hue with aromas of sandalwood, flavors dried fruits, spice cake, and fresh figs, gripping tannins and amazing density. The finish is tremendous.
Mar 16, 2010Castello Di Bossi Girolamo Toscana Igt, 1999
Another stunner from Antonini and company, the Girolamo from di Bossi is 100% Merlot and and rivals the wines of Napa or Graves for intensity, extraction, and personality. The wine is slightly jammy and redollent with black fruit, but holds a firm line of tannin and spice in addition to coppious fruit. A delicious wine easily capable of 10 or more years in bottle.
Mar 16, 2010Castello Di Bossi Corbaia, 1999
This is an I.G.T. blend made by esteemed enologist Alberto Antonini from Sangiovese supported by cabernet Sauvignon. The wine is a deep, almost black hue with sweet aromas of dark cassis, and plum fruit with elements of cloves and licorice. Very, very rich with a seamless palate and very long finish. Old school purists might find this wine too much like a New World wine, but it is unmistakably Italian, and hard to resist.
Mar 16, 2010Prunotto Barolo Bussia, 1997
Medium ruby with a garnet rim (natural and appropriate for Nebbiolo wines of this age). Sublime with ellegant cherry and rosepetals with hints of leather. Soft and luscious with aeration the finish is extremely long. Very little of this wine is imported, but it is worth the effort of a search considering the strength of the vintage in Piedmonte and the excellent performance reccord of Prunotto.
A single vineyard wine made only in excellent vintages. Very fragrant, with vibrant plum and blueberry fruit with hints of vanilla. Lush and unctuous, modern in style with a long velvety finish laced with bittersweet cocoa.
Howell Mountain Old Vine Zinfandel has been a staple of mine for years. I'm not alone, and this producer has earned a long and loyal following largely due to the influence of Ted Lemon who makes the Howell Mountain wines in addition to his own brand of Pinot Noir at Littorai. True to form the 2001 is bursting with blackberry and boysenberry fruit with hints of orange zest and sweet spices rounding out the edges. A combination of lots taken from both the Black-Sears property as well as the Beatty Ranch. This wine shows lots of oomph.
Mar 16, 2010Charles Melton Nine Popes, 2000
The 2000 '9 Popes' Cuvee from Charles Melton is Australia's answer to Vaqueras with an intense, distinctive and spicy nose of stone fruits and exotic spices followed by a very sleek entry on the palate and multiple dimensions of flavor. A nicely layered wine with strength and enough refinement to please civilized company. Great structure.
Mar 15, 2010Plumpjack Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville, 2000
Black with a brilliant magenta rim. Sweet tobacco notes intermixed with dark cherries, cassis and vanilla. A powerful, muscular wine with considerable tannin, it merits aeration for several hours to unlock it's full complexity. Hold this one for a while.
Mar 15, 2010Crocker & Starr Cabernet, 1999
Pure. Loaded with black currant preserves and minerals framed by delicate tannins. This wine is so difficult to condense into mere text it should be enjoyed over the next 12-15 years or more. Sadly, 435 cases will make this hard to find.
A deep, inky intense concentrated wine composed of equal quantities of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The wine has fabulous purity of dark cassis fruit, hints of mocha, and dusty refined tannins that just barely manage to hold in the succulent ripe layers of fruit. Very tasty and sophisticated, and worth cellaring for 15 or more years.
This is one of the legendary Zinfandel wines of the Central Coast, and a benchmark for producers all of the Paso Robles region. The 2001 vintage is one of the best in memory, showing huge levels of extract, dark sappy fruit, spicy notes and managing to keep it all in good balance (something of a challenge in less ideal vintages of this wine). A delightful accompanyment to grilled meats or zesty pasta dishes, it also is suited for a good "show stopper" or final bottle of an evening for it's high levels of extract, when the sweetness of say a Port wine would be undesireable to some palates. A stylistic masterpiece, and for my tastes the wine Norman should shoot for in future Monster bottlings.
Indian spices and red currants. Supple, juicy and finishing with a hint of violets. This wine has great balance, lots of flavor and some subtle nuances that make it a great candidate for cellaring through about 2014 or so.
Powerful and leesey with bombshell and scorched mineral in addition to succulent golden fruit notes. Not quite as tight and mineraly as the Cahill Lane bottling, or as domineering as the Cuvee Alyce, it shows the admirable qualities Steven Hansel's Chardonnay is known for and is an excellent value to referrence.
What a mess this heading is. Not sure why...
The wine is:
2002 Crocker & Starr "Hyde Vineyards & Crocker Estate" Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley.
A dynamite example of what Sauvignon Blanc can do in California when attention is payed in the vineyard and cellar. Sadly few wineries take the time and attention winemaker Pam Starr does in the assemblage of Sauvignon. This wine comes from two distinct parcells, Larry Hyde's famous Carneros Vineyard, and San Francisco business Icon, Charlie Crocker's Estate vineyard in St. Helena. the combination is outstanding with an intense raw pineapple/lime blossom nose and an unctuous, delicate, soft, rich and vibrant body. the finish is long and seamless.
Mar 15, 2010Chateau Petit Cheval St. Emilion, 1998
The second wine of Chateau Cheval Blanc (technically named 'Le Petit Cheval' sans Chateau), this wine is sweetly seductive displaying sleek, supple, blueberry and seemless cassis fruit. It is intense and weightly, yet remarkable "light on it's feet" showing great balance and finesse. A wine to be enjoyed for a decade, probably quite a bit more. Delicious. Bravo!
Mar 15, 2010Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough, 2001
For this kind of money I usualy prefer Sauvignomn Blanc from Sancerre. That said, I have a hard time not enjoying the 2001 Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough New Zealand. The wine is bright and delicate, yet shows delightful floral and mineral notes in addition to ripe almost peachy fruit. It is spicy, racy, and intense with slight hints of oak through the finish.